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Port City United rolls out new low-cost and no-cost therapy service

Ben Schachtman

This week, Port City United will begin offering counseling to eligible residents — part of New Hanover County’s broader approach to community violence. WHQR’s Ben Schachtman spoke to PCU’s new clinical therapist about the program.

Port City United launched its new therapy service this Monday.

"Eligible community members will have access to individual, family, and group therapy services. Support gatherings/counseling group themes include survivors of violence & trauma (SVT), adult substance abuse recovery and resiliency (ASARR), women's processing support and a Caretakers group for parents/guardians of differently abled children," according to Port City United.

Port City United's clinical services are primarily for adults, but children aged 12-up can receive services in a family counseling format.

For eligibility information & registration, contact Renae Floyd via email — rfloyd@nhcgov.com — or call 910-798-4396.

Ben Schachtman: Alright, with me now is Dr. Renae Floyd with Port City United. She's a licensed clinical therapist, here to talk about the rollout of the new clinical community support campaign. Renae, thanks for being here.

Renae Floyd: Thank you for having me, Ben.

BS: Okay, so the occasion for your appearance here at WHQR is a new program that PCU is rolling out, offering counseling services to the community. Tell me a little bit about this.

RF. Absolutely. So I think in general, if you're looking at things from a systemic societal scope, therapy services are always an in-demand resource, but accessibility and affordability are often issues for variety of people. So what Port City United and New Hanover County has done is basically create an opportunity for us to provide therapeutic services to the community at either no cost or low cost, depending on eligibility. But right now, we have the funding available for my services to be no cost for the next few months.

BS: So who might want therapy? Because I think sometimes, I talk to people, they're like, ‘oh, I don't need therapy.’ And I feel like the umbrella is probably a bit wider than people think it is.

RF: The best way I can answer that – so there's a variety of factors that motivates people to seek out therapeutic services. And there's a lot of different reasons why people are not for it, against it, don't understand it. My – the best thing I can say is as a person, and as a therapist, I really try to meet people where they are and kind of explain, here's the benefit of it. One of the biggest things I often say to people in passing, you know, something doesn't necessarily have to be wrong for therapy to be beneficial. But I totally, you know, validate as well that sometimes you've had an experience, it's not the best fit, insurance issues, other things soured your experience. But like anything in life, if you keep trying at it, you'll probably, you know, find a best fit. And I'd like to think I'm a pretty good therapist after 12 years in the field.

BS: So we hear a lot about young people in the community who are sometimes exposed to some traumatic stuff. Is there a place for them in this program?

RF: Absolutely. So within the kind of the umbrella of services and the mission and model of Port City United, there is heavy emphasis on the therapeutic services I'll provide – and kind of addressing different forms of trauma, whether that's related to community violence, gun violence, racial trauma, which I have a lot of training and certification around, but virtually anything that is making life less ideal for a person, preferably ages 12 and up, then I would definitely say reach out to me and let me see how I can help you.

BS: Okay, so my last question is, is this like a one-time thing, or it can just be part of an ongoing thing?

RF: Yes, services can absolutely be ongoing, depends on a few factors, like what the needs are. So, I'll be offering individual, family, and group therapy. I do that in-office and also I'm willing to come out to the community, depending on a client's preference. I also do services virtually. So therapy is not ongoing in terms of if it's no longer needed, or you've made progress or met your goals, and we find a good space to kind of terminate. So there's an end date, but there really depends on the person and kind of what they're seeking services for.

BS: All right. And again, this is a new service from Port City United rolling out this week, started this Monday, low or no-cost counseling services. And for people who are interested or who might know someone who's interested, Renae we’ll have your contact info at whqr.org. And people can check to see if they're eligible or to register. But for now, Dr. Renae Floyd from Port City United, thanks for being with us.

RF: Thank you.

Ben Schachtman is a journalist and editor with a focus on local government accountability. He began reporting for Port City Daily in the Wilmington area in 2016 and took over as managing editor there in 2018. He’s a graduate of Rutgers College and later received his MA from NYU and his PhD from SUNY-Stony Brook, both in English Literature. He loves spending time with his wife and playing rock'n'roll very loudly. You can reach him at BSchachtman@whqr.org and find him on Twitter @Ben_Schachtman.